Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 25th, 2011
“Unlike the rest of us, sex, lies, and scandal never take a vacation. Instead they take the Long Island Expressway and head East to the Hamptons. Some would say summer is their busiest season. Think Park Avenue, but with tennis whites and Bain de Soleil. The players change, but the game remains the same.”
With internet blogging becoming such a common trend, we just knew that someone somehow would work it into a clever little plot. It started as a series of adolescent books that appealed mostly to the teen girls. Combine the idea of a gossip blog with that equally popular trend of attractive young people in complicated and contrived relationships, and you get the general idea behind Gossip Girl. The show follows a group of spoiled high schoolers from the affluent East End as they go through the standard situations. What makes this show somewhat different is that it’s being told as a narrative by an anonymous blogger who appears to have a lot of firsthand information on this group of young people. She knows everybody’s dirty little secrets, and she publishes them on her gossip blog. The blog is the in thing to read, and much like the society pages of old, everyone loves to read about someone else’s dirt; that is until their own soiled laundry appears in the blog.
It’s pretty much a soap opera, to say the least. The stories are very much about who is hooking up with or betraying who. We never see the gossip girl, and just like the show’s characters, we’re not privy to who she really is. Her voice is a constant narration much like can be found by the deceased desperate housewife from Wisteria Lane. There’s tons of modern music in this one. I count at least 6 songs per episode. It likely costs a ton in music clearances, and I can’t speak to any replacements for the DVD release.
Each episode of Gossip Girl is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It’s an overly bright show. Lots of plush and sunlight fill every frame. Colors are pretty good, and the costumes do often jump out at you with some rather exotic color combinations. The show has an artificial feel to it that appears to be a common style choice for these young-friends type of shows. Black levels are about average. There is some compression artifact, but it doesn’t tend to get in the way.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track does everything it needs to do and more. This is an extremely dialog-heavy series, so that’s what you’re going to want to hear without distractions. The clarity is good, and never does the 5.1 mix interfere with the staples. Musical cues are always solid but never overpower the drama.
Bisoux a Paris: (9:47) The cast talk about getting to shoot an episode in Paris.
Exposing Gossip Girl – The Making Of Episode 418: (17:58) A closer look at a specific episode.
Gag Reel: (8:32)
It’s not the kind of thing I would have watched on my own, I’ll admit. It has a certain sense of style and hipness that translates well for the young and the beautiful. The rest of us might find it mildly interesting. If you have not seen the series, might I suggest you catch it on television before sinking money into the set? It might be appropriate that this one comes out in the hot dog days of August. “XOXO Gossip Girl.”